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CES: Day one round-up

The big names disappoint while car technology steals the show
Tue Jan 08 2013, 16:04

LAS VEGAS: IT FEELS LIKE just minutes ago that The INQUIRER team landed here in sunny Las Vegas, but day one of the manic Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is somehow already behind us.

Yesterday saw press conferences from the big names in the technology industry, including Samsung, Sony, Ford and er, Alcatel, that looked to interest the crowds of impatient technology journalists with their latest and greatest products.

However, we're not sure that everybody did. Samsung's press conference, for example, didn't have the buzz from previous years as the firm moves towards holding its own Apple-style events throughout the year. Despite speculation that we'd be seeing Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4, all we saw was a handful of Windows 8 laptops and some new TV products - announcements that meant we were even more irked at having to start queuing three hours in advance.

Sony, however, didn't disappoint. The firm announced its flagship Xperia Z smartphone, a handset that managed to impress the crowds, and us, with its 5in HD 1080p screen, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and up to date Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mobile operating system - a feature that's not usually associated with Sony phones.

Huawei Ascend D2 with Android 4.1

In the smartphone arena, it wasn't just the big names like Sony that wowed the jet-lagged crowds in Las Vegas. Alcatel, for example, announced what it claims is "the world's thinnest smartphone" along with a slightly chunkier quad-core device, a far cry from its usual big-buttonned phones designed for the elderly. Huawei too surprised us all with the launch of its ridiculous 6.1in Ascend Mate smartphone that we managed to get our hands on at the show yesterday.

Sony also used CES to show off its latest OLED TV technology, which it has squeezed into an almost bezel-less 56in prototype box. However, it wasn't just Sony betting big on TVs at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

LG Ultrawide model for Windows 8

We attended the LG and Panasonic press conferences on Monday, where both firms tried to outdo each other with the biggest television screens and the most pixels squeezed inside them - pushing other announcements such as smartphones and tablets to the sidelines for a moment.

Certainly, we saw smartphones and TVs, but it was car technology that really stole the show on day one of the Consumer Electronics Show.

Ford CES press conference 2013

Ford launched its App Developer Programme for its Sync Applink in-car apps system, and wowed us with its slew of apps to make driving safer and more fun. Toyota impressed us too, as it showed off its self-driving safety vehicle - although the firm remained schtum on whether this product will ever make it to market.

Today we're off to catch a glimpse at the new products from firms like Asus, ZTE and all the other weird and wonderful exhibitors in Vegas, so keep an eye on The INQUIRER this week for all of the latest news from CES 2013. µ

 

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